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Part of the appeal of leaving your cozy bed behind to rough it on the trail is feeling more connected to nature. Camping cots allow you the luxury of a good snooze while breathing in all that fresh air, but being so one with nature that the rocky ground pokes into your ribs all night. When you pop your sleeping bag or mattress pad on top of one of these clever camp beds, insects will pass below you, instead of inside your bedding. Wake up refreshed and ready to go after considering these factors to find the perfect camping cot to fit your needs.

  • Comfort. If your campsite is just off the road or you’re pitching a tent in the backyard, consider a cot that comes with foam or an air mattress. The extra weight of this design can be a more-than-acceptable tradeoff for a softer and more supportive surface. Camping cots can also make a comfy guest bed for indoor sleepovers. The best models should still only take up minimal space in your closet or trunk.
  • Ease. Outdoor enthusiasts should consider durability and ease of assembly when choosing a camping cot. If you’re on a road trip, the ability to quickly set up and strike your campsite will provide you with more time for telling stories around the campfire. If you tend to feel cramped, look for extra-long and wide cots.
  • Weight. It’s true you feel every extra pound on the trail when you’re hauling them on your back. Prioritize gear that’s light and compact so you can still relax in less-than-optimal conditions. For example, cots made with aluminum alloy are much lighter than steel, without sacrificing strength. 

The best camping cots: Reviews & Recommendations

Best overall: Coleman ComfortSmart Cot



This steel-frame camp bed features a foam mattress for extra cushioning and folds up easily for storage. Best for people of medium height.

Runner up: TETON Camp Cot

TETON Sports


Generous sleeping surface made from Oxford canvas, with steel legs that can support up to 400 pounds. Features a pivot arm with a lever for easy setup.

Best for hiking: Helinox Camping Cot



At just over five pounds and 21.5 inches long when packed, this high-end bed made from aluminum alloy is ideal for hikers. Features a unique bungee cord mechanism for fast assembly.

Best budget: Araer Foldable Outdoor Bed



This budget option fits in your trunk and is designed to double as patio or pool furniture.

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